Doesn't this seem like an oxymoron? Jesus...Walmart.... not so similar...usually when I think of Walmart, I tend to think more along the lines of the devil, lakes of fire, you know, all those awful things.... Well, that's for another blog... But today I saw Jesus...Here's the story:
Grace had her 2 year check up this morning, and for Grace that's more like saying "today you will be dropped straight into the pit of hell." I am not exaggerating here... She is so afraid of the doctor, it's a little unnerving. Even after standing on she scale, she is shaking uncontrollably and burying her head into my shoulder crying. It's awful. (And yes, we have a VERY nice doctor!)
So after weighing, measuring, listening to the lungs, heart...all those normal things...I decided it would be best for them to give her a flu shot. Now that she is in preschool, I figured that a little more screaming would be better than 7-10 days of the plague. The shot was little and over within seconds, but Grace was DONE... she ripped off the band-aid, threw it on the floor, blood was squirting out of her leg, and she almost puked. We finally exited with a Dora sticker... little consolation for what she'd just endured...and headed for the car.
Since she was still bleeding, and wearing a white dress, I told her that we could run into Walmart to get some "Nemopes" band-aids and some lunch to take over to Corbin's house. At this point, the crying had stopped and she was planning all that she and Corbin would do when she got there.
We found the "Nemopes" band-aids relatively quickly and started the long haul over to the grocery section of the store.... (part of the problem with Walmart)...Being 6 months pregnant, I don't really want or NEED to carry a 36 pound toddler around all day long, so I am trying to refrain as much as possible. When we enter every store, Grace gets a choice, walk or ride... usually she says walk. Today was no different.
Something happened between the band-aid aisle and aisle 10, all of a sudden Grace is screaming "Leg Hurt" and throwing herself on the floor. Face down on the linoleum of WALMART, tasting whatever has been on the bottom of everyone else's shoes.
I know my kid, and I know that she can manipulate, and she is very smart. This wasn't a legitimate pain in the leg, this was a fit because she didn't want to walk. Being the genius that I am, I hadn't thought to push a basket along just in case something like this occurred, and you know Walmart... baskets are about a mile away. I had already laid down the law, "Mommy can not carry you, you will have to walk or ride in a basket." If I go back on things like that, I have literally shot myself in the foot. I am now wondering how on earth I am going to leave this store with my toddler.... I am NOT picking the child up.
So here I am, in the middle of a busy aisle, a screaming toddler eating linoleum, and me, on the floor asking her to get up and stop throwing a fit. 5 minutes elapse, same scenario....I won't give in, so I just continue talking to her in a relatively calm voice, so as not to escalate the noise that she is making already.....2 more minutes.... I get up and walk to the end of the aisle and peek around to the other side... There is an empty basket! I swear, it wasn't there before.... I get the basket, get on my knees and explain to Grace that she has lost her choice to walk and that I was putting her in the basket because we had to leave.
While all of the above was occurring, several (hundred) people walked by me, but I noticed one lady in particular pushing a 1 year old who is quietly sitting in his stroller. When she walked by I remember thinking to myself "Crap, I know she is taking notes on what NOT to do with a kid in the middle of the store... I know she thinks I am the worst mom...I am so embarrassed..."
After I had gotten Grace into the basket, screaming has only gotten louder, we make our way to the grocery section to pick up lunch. The same lady comes by again. She turns to me and says:
"I just want you to know that you are an inspiration to me. You are so patient and calm, and I admire that so much. I can't even bring my 3 year old into a store, I give in to her all the time...You are doing such a great job."
I almost started to cry... I wanted to say... "Are you serious... 6 months pregnant, wearing God knows what, without a shower, on the floor of Walmart with a screaming toddler that I can't control...?"
She was Jesus to me today. She didn't have to say anything, she didn't have to notice...and she thought that what I was doing was admirable? She walked away and I really felt like she was Jesus reminding me that I am doing OK, that He has equipped me for this, even if I don't feel like it or realize it. I can get into a habit of talking down to myself especially when MY kid is the one making a scene. "You are not a good mother, YOUR mother would have been able to handle this situation correctly, if you could only do this or that better, Grace would be more well behaved... etc" Every mom knows the routine and the thoughts that Satan whispers to you. I even trick myself into thinking those things are the Holy Spirit trying to 'convict' my soul.
That precious woman reminded me that it's just not true. Jesus is trying to whisper words of encouragement and restoration to my soul...I probably won't ever see her again, but she was Jesus to me today.
I know I am not doing everything perfectly and I simply can't... but there is grace for that and Jesus is FOR me and He loves me and He thinks I am a good mom.
Proverbs 18:4 "A person's words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook."